All businesses, regardless of size, location or sector, have potential to impact children’s rights and contribute to achieving the SDGs. But given the scale of many of the world’s problems, widespread collaboration is essential. Forming partnerships benefits all involved. Partnerships allow for exchange of knowledge and experience. They enable organizations to avoid duplication of efforts, and they’re better suited for building long-term business and social value than unilateral action. The benefits of a successful children’s rights program extend beyond doing good for children. In the business community, corporates are increasingly seeing links between maximizing societal impact and maximizing shareholder value.
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The world has taken on a tremendous task: to eliminate child labour. Global Goal for Sustainable Development no 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth states that by 2025 child labour in all its forms shall be eliminated. This is ambitious as the target is supposed to be reached five years earlier than 2030, the end date for the Global Goals as a whole. At the same time, the latest report on child labour from the International Labour Organization (ILO), shows that even though child labour is on the decline, it’s not declining fast enough, and in recent years, the pace has slowed considerably. At the current rate, the ILO estimates that by 2025, 121 million children will still be in child labour. So, what are we doing wrong? And more importantly, how can we improve, so that child labour can finally be a thing of the past?
In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in South Africa, this report draws on one of Global Child Forum’s essential research products ‘The corporate sector and children’s rights benchmark’. More specifically, insights are provided across three areas where the corporate sector impacts children’s rights: The Workplace, The Marketplace, The Community and the Environment. In 2015, Global Child Forum, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group, published a benchmark study of the 271 largest companies in the region. This report is a follow-up to that study. An updated benchmark analysis has been conducted on 20 of the region’s largest companies.
In an effort to provide insights and guidance on how businesses protect – or fall short in protecting – children’s rights in the Southeast Asia region, this report makes use of two essential Global Child Forum research products: The Children Rights and Business Atlas and The corporate sector and children’s rights benchmark. More specifically, insights are provided across three areas where the corporate sector impacts children’s rights: The Workplace, The Marketplace, The Community and the Environment. Throughout this report, data from the Atlas highlights contextual factors that shape how companies can and should respond to children’s rights. This information is contrasted with the results of the Benchmark scoring for the 20 largest companies in Southeast Asia. A gap analysis provides recommendations for company actions that address risks and create positive impact on children’s rights in the region.
15-year-old Warwar Nwe was just ten years old when she had to drop out of school. “My father had to go to Yangon to get medical treatment and so, our whole family came along with him to Yangon,” she says with a sense of sadness. In Yangon, Warwar Nwe missed her old life: “I felt very sad and cried. I couldn’t see my friends and teachers anymore.” But when Warwar Nwe was 14 she heard about a garment factory recruiting young workers. This is the story about how a business initiative positively can change the life for children. It is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
Rongxuan has no memory of the day his mother left him behind with his grandparents so that she could return to work in Dongguan. At the time, Rongxuan was only two months old. But today, thanks to a business initiative, Rongxuan and his mother have something to celebrate. Theirs is one of four stories profiled in, "Children's Voices” - a film collaboration between Global Child Forum and CCR CSR. The video gives voice to children who talk about the impacts of businesses on their lives. #ChildrensVoices
In a world where big ideas about children’s rights are presented at high-level events, seminars and workshops, the voice of the children themselves is often conspicuously absent. Global Child Forum and CCR CSR have proudly produced a short-film that gives a voice to children, while at the same time inspiring businesses to invest in child rights. This full version film includes four short stories shot in four different countries: China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Each story can also be found as a short film. Global Child Forum and CCR CSR appreciate if being referred to if/when the films are being showcased in channels or at events where we are not present. #ChildrensVoices
On Wednesday, April 11, the 10th Global Child Forum 2018 was held at the Stockholm Royal Palace. Over 300 participants from around the world gathered to discuss child rights issues. Participants represented global companies, financial institutions, civil society, the UN, academia and government.
On April 11, the 10th Global Child Forum 2018 was held at the Stockholm Royal Palace – where over 300 participants from around the world gathered to discuss child rights issues. Participants represented global companies, financial institutions, civil society, academia and government.
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca focuses its global community investment on the pressing challenge of preventing non-communicable diseases. They do this by targeting adolescents health and major risk behaviours such as tobacco and alcohol use and unhealthy eating through the AstraZeneca Youth Health Programme. A unique feature of the programme is that combines measures for behavioural change with research and advocacy. “The youth of today are going to be the main drivers of economic development for evolving nations. One way to help them grow up healthy is to empower them with knowledge about making healthy choices.” Helen-Marie Seibel, Director, Global Community Investment, AstraZeneca In this Deep Dive, we delve deeper into the Youth Health Programme in order to understand its background story and key features. The insights are based on interviews with company representatives and publicly available resources. As part of our research on corporate children’s rights programs, we have also developed a guide for companies: “Corporate Children’s Rights Programs – Guidance and Best Practice”.
Global Child Forum and the Boston Consulting Group initiated the Corporate Sector and Children´s Rights Benchmark study series in 2013, to fill a gap in the existing research on how the corporate sector addresses children´s rights, both within their operations and in communities. We have produced one global and five regional studies: the Nordic region, the Middle East and Northern Africa; Southern Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Based on this extensive knowledge, we are now delving deeper into our data in order to provide guidance for companies on how to further their efforts to implement the Children´s Rights and Business Principles. It is evident when analysing our data that almost half (46%) of all businesses establish their own programs and/or donate to charity. We have studied the programs of 13 companies, to identify pertinent common features that can be used as building blocks for other companies. The building blocks needed for a corporate children´s rights program to achieve maximum positive impact are: Relevance, Governance, Collaboration, and Measurement. In this guide, we describe each building block in detail, followed by concrete company examples.
The ICT sector has an enormous role to play in protecting children online and connecting them to a better future. Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, the global body representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, shares how his industry is contributing to children’s rights.
Under the theme “Mobility & Connectivity: Children’s Rights and Sustainable Business”, Forum attendees were inspired through plenary panels and solution-driven ActionLabs sessions. The Forum highlighted opportunities to advance children’s rights presented by fast technological progress, a young, growing workforce and the expanding travel and tourism in the region and explored how stakeholders could ensure that children’s rights are respected and fulfilled. Read the report!
The Global Child Forum on South America, held on 4 April 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil, brought together leaders from business, civil society and government to address the issue of “Investing in Every Child”. The South America Forum, the 9th for the organisation, brought together over 300 delegates to discuss the current state of children’s rights in the region and call upon business to take concrete actions in their business to create an inclusive economy – one that is equitable and creates opportunities for all.
This year’s Global Child Forum welcomed heads of state and heads of companies, leaders from civil society and learners from across South America and beyond. All came together with the goal of providing the region’s children with the best possible path to productive adulthood. All came together with the belief that the business sector is key to achieving that goal. Nearly 400 delegates gathered in the FIESP building on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, its soaring modernist architecture a fitting backdrop for tackling a far-reaching children’s rights agenda. Read the Forum report — full of inspiration, ideas for action and case stories.
Millicom is an international telecommunications and media company and offers a wide range of digital services primarily under the “Tigo” brand. Through their due-diligence and community initiatives, the company is committed to mitigating potential risks to children posed by their operations. Millicom also engages with the communities in which they operate in an effort to promote the opportunities technology can offer children and build awareness of children’s rights. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change.
Centrais Elétricas de Santa Catarina – CELESC, provides large areas of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina with electricity. As a partially state-owned service provider, the company has strong ties to the local communities that they serve, and has identified a number of ways to make a direct contribution to children’s rights. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change.
“As a big company with operations in a large geographical area, we have the opportunity to reach many people and make a difference in society.” Regina Schlickmann Luciano, Socio-Environmental Responsibility Advisor, CELESC(Image/photo credit: CELESC)
As one of the leading providers of telecommunications services in Argentina, Grupo Telecom is conscious of their impact on the everyday lives of their customers. Understanding that children and adolescents are important users of their services, the company has identified protection online as a management priority. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change.
“In the era of mobile connectivity, where children have access to multiple devices, it’s vital to equip them with a critical judgement that provides them with the necessary resources for their protection. It is also important that parents and adults can guide children in the responsible use of technology, so that they can learn in a safe and constructive environment.” Pedro Lopez Matheu, Director of Government Relations(Image/photo credit: Grupo Telecom)
Communication and Media, Grupo Telecom
SCA is one of the world’s largest companies in personal care products, with presence in approximately 100 countries. This Deep Dive looks at their journey on the way to recognising children as key stakeholders to their company and ensuring that children’s rights are integrated into their daily operations. It also describes how SCA has entered several strategic collaborations and partnerships with different organizations to further children’s rights in different ways, but always integrated with their core business. This Deep Dive is part of our series that looks at how companies find solutions and harness opportunities that create meaningful change. (Photo credit: SCA – Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi)
Global Child Forum brings together thought leaders and influencers from business, civil society, academia and government in order to spur action for social change around children’s rights. In particular, we focus on the power of business to be a driver of change, and we encourage businesses to take approaches in their operations and their communities that best advance children’s rights. Our work is underpinned by the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles as well as by our own research and tools. Global Child Forum was initiated by H.M. the King and H.M. the Queen of Sweden in 2009 as part of their long-standing commitment to children’s issues. Global Child Forum is a Swedish non-profit foundation with headquarters in the heart of Stockholm.
Jenny Fredy, Senior Analyst at Global Child Forum, argues that for business to take on the global goals will require that businesses act responsibly, by incorporating the UN Global Compact Principles, as well as by identifying the opportunities that the new agenda provides. However, perhaps more than anything, what's needed is a new mind-set to drive new sustainable solutions and business models.
Sansiri is a leading private real estate company in Thailand with a revenue of $864 million for 2014. The deep dive explores some of the company’s initiatives, such as its educational programs, its corporate structure in regards to sustainability and its work alongside the government and the World Health Organisation to improve health benefits for migrant workers.
This deep dive explores Sime Darby’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile in relation to children’s rights. Operating in 26 countries and with 130, 000 employees, Sime Darby is one of the largest Malaysian based conglomerates. Sime Darby’s child protection policy, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations, understanding of key material risks and governance structure are all explored.
This deep dive explores Thai Union’s Corporate Social Responsibility profile. As a leading seafood company in Thailand, Thai Union works within an industry which is still defined by a multitude of family owned businesses. The study looks at how the company attempts to limit child labour and increase access to education, as well as looking at its code of conduct, collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations and future projects.
The case study explores IKEA’s commitments to children’s rights. The study looks into how IKEA went from being a company which did not mention children (or their rights) to making them central stakeholders of their company. IKEA is also an advocate, both internally and externally, of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
Millicom, a telecommunications and media company operating in 8 countries in Latin America and 6 countries in Africa, has been leading the way in mitigating risks to children from their operations. This deep dive looks at how the company works to ensure children rights throughout their operations.
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